Yadier Molina and Marcell Ozuna homered, Jack Flaherty tossed six effective innings and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 7-2 on Wednesday night.
The Cardinals have won four in a row and will try to sweep the four-game series Thursday. They have outscored their opponents 19-6 during the winning streak.
Max Muncy and Joc Pederson homered for the Dodgers, who have lost three straight after a five-game winning streak.
Paul DeJong had three hits and drove in a run with a triple in the sixth. DeJong extended his career-best hitting streak to 11 games. He is tied with San Francisco’s Brandon Crawford for the longest current streak in the National League.
Flaherty (1-0) gave up three hits and one run in his 99-pitch effort. He struck out eight and did not walk a batter. He has permitted one run over 11 innings in his last two starts.
Molina, who drove in three runs, homered off Kenta Maeda (2-1) in the sixth to push the lead to a 5-1. Ozuna, who had three hits, added a two-run drive in the eighth.
Maeda gave up five runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings.
Pederson’s one-out shot in the sixth brought the Dodgers to 2-1. Los Angeles has gone deep in 11 of 13 games this season.
The Cardinals and Dodgers have played each other 2,074 times since 1892. The series is even at 1,029-1,029 with 16 ties.
KERSHAW ON TRACK
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw is scheduled to make his season debut Sunday or Monday, according to manager Dave Roberts.
The three-time Cy Young Award winner, bothered by shoulder inflammation during spring training, completed his second effective rehab appearance Tuesday night for Double-A Tulsa against Springfield. He went six innings and allowed two runs on five hits. He struck out six and did not walk a batter.
“He felt good coming out of it,” Roberts said. “He’s lined up for Sunday or Monday, whichever makes the most sense.”
Dodgers: Placed C Russell Martin on the 10-day injured list with lower back inflammation and recalled C Rocky Gale from Triple-A Oklahoma City. Gale was 2 for 6 with three runs scored at Oklahoma City. He went 0 for 2 as a September call-up last season.
Cardinals: Ozuna was in the starting lineup after he tumbled off the outfield fence while trying to catch a long drive Tuesday. Ozuna scaled the left field wall, but the ball came up short and he hit the warning track face first.
Los Angeles RHP Walker Buehler (1-0, 6.75 ERA) will face RHP Michael Wacha (0-0, 1.54) in the series finale Thursday afternoon. Buehler has not allowed a run in two career starts against St. Louis, yielding five hits over 15 innings with 18 strikeouts. Wacha walked a career-high eight in a 6-4 loss to San Diego on Saturday.